Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research

Research Partner Project with the Florida Department of Corrections

The U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice awarded a $600,000 to the Florida Department of Corrections in 2012. DOC partnered with the Florida State University (FSU) Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research, awarding them $316,000 of the grant. DOC and FSU will conduct a three-year study of the success rates of three inmate programs. This project advances the existing collaborative, strong, and productive partnership between FSU and DOC through the addiction of dedicated resources that will draw upon perspectives, experiences, and expertise across the two organizations. Through this collaboration, three major research projects will be completed that will provide scientifically based empirical evidence which will inform the entire field of corrections and DOC’s future policy decisions regarding various inmate programs. These projects include the following:

  • Assessing the Post-Release Impact of Prison-Based Substance Abuse Treatment on Employment, Recidivism, and Re-Imprisonment
    This project will provide empirical evidence to correctional administrators and policy makers assessing the post-release impact of the prison-based substance abuse treatment on employment, recidivism, and re-imprisonment. In 2006, the FDC initiated an experimental design in which more than 100,000 incoming inmates (for a three-year period) were provided the opportunity to participate in the study. If consent was obtained, inmates were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group in the event they were identified as having a substance abuse (SA) problem. This project will address several research questions, including identifying differential effects of SA based on specific modalities, treatment duration, co-occuring needs, and sub-groupings of the offenders. The analyses will compare the outcomes across groups using t-test mean comparisons and Survival Analysis. The research questions will be addressed using alternative methodologies (to random assignment): Logistic Regression, Propensity Score Matching, and Precision Matching.
  • Assessing the Post-Release Impact of Work Release Programs on Employment, Recidivism, and Re-Imprisonment
    This project will also provide empirical evidence which will assess the post-release impact of transitioning inmates from secure facilities to work release centers on employment, recidivism, and re-imprisonment. The sample will include all inmates classified as “community” custody at the time of their releases between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2009 and recidivism, using survival analysis to examine the probability of recidivism and the time to failure across the work release and non-work release cases. Second, logistic regression will be used to estimate the effect of work release on the likelihood of recidivism and employment within one, two, and three years’ post-release. This study will also examine the cost-benefits associated with work-release.
  • Assessing the Impact of Post-Release Supervision on Employment, Recidivism, and Re-Imprisonment
    This project will additionally provide empirical evidence to state-level policy makers and administrators about the impact of community supervision of former inmates on employment, recidivism, and re-imprisonment. The sample for this study will include 256,253 inmates released between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2009. The analysis will examine the effect of supervision on the outcome variables using Survival Analysis to examine the probability of recidivism and the time to failure across the supervision types. Second, Logistic Regression will be used to estimate the impact of the type of supervision on the likelihood of recidivism, employment, and re-imprisonment within one, two, and three years after release. Finally, this study will examine the cost-benefits associated with the various types of post-release supervision. This study will produce four reports which will provide empirical evidence documenting the post-release impact of prison-based drug treatment, work-release, and re-imprisonment, as well as the cost-benefits of these programs. In addition, the various statistical methodologies utilized in this research will inform the research community of the differences, if any, that exist in examining research questions using four methodologies: random assignment, Logistic regression, Propensity Score Matching, and Precision Matching. Lastly, the substance abuse treatment study will yield a separate report that details the entire process of designing and implementing an experimental research study.Four reports will be produced that will provide empirical evidence documenting the post-release impact of: prison-based drug treatment, work release, and re-imprisonment, as well as the cost-benefits of these programs. In addition, the various statistical methodologies utilized is this research will inform the research community of the differences, if any, of examining research questions using four methodologies: random assignment, logistic regression, propensity score matching, and precision matching. Lastly, the substance abuse treatment study will yield a separate report that details the entire process of designing the implementing an experimental.

Contact

William Bales, Ph.D.
Professor, FSU College of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Graduate Students: Catie Clark, Sam Scaggs

Dates: May 2012 to May 2015

Funding Agency: National Institute of Justice

Funding: $316,000